Adjutant General of Virginia 2021 Veterans Day Message

Virginia National Guard Team:

Here are the prepared remarks I will deliver at the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial on Nov. 11, 2021:

The last 24 months have underscored how important today is for a multitude of reasons one of which is to recognize the great things our men and women in uniform do for us. So that in mind I’ll give you a quick snapshot of us: the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force these many months have offered up significant milestones.

For anyone not familiar with the National Guard, we are a unique dual-status force with both a state mission to support the citizens of the commonwealth and a federal mission to act as the combat reserve of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.

The utilization of the VNG from 2019 to today has been extraordinary. Our Soldiers, Airmen and Defense Force personnel have been called forward at a rate that we haven’t seen since World War II supporting our state and our nation in a wide array of operations working with multiple state and federal partner agencies to help keep our fellow citizens safe.

By this coming January, more than 2,000 Virginia National Guard personnel will be mobilized on federal active duty. That’s the most since the Iraq surge in 2007, and when you add in Soldiers from Maryland and Kentucky serving in the 29th Infantry Division, it is the most Soldiers the division has mobilized since 1942.

Our Soldiers are maintaining a U.S. military posture in Southwest Asia sufficient to strengthen our defense relationships and build partner capacity, managing base operations and providing contracting support in the region. More than 1,000 Soldiers will provide a security force in the Horn of Africa.

We will also provide mission command and rotary wing aviation support for the NATO-led peace support operations in Kosovo.

Our Airman continue to stand ready to provide support across the globe for F-22 fighter jet air dominance, civil engineering, cyber operations, weather forecasting and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance

Our Virginia Defense Force continues to provide additional capacity for domestic response operations in support of Virginia National Guard and their fellow Virginians, and with the pace of federal mobilizations, their role is more critical than ever.

On top of all of this, our team at Fort Pickett has worked tirelessly to support Operation Allies Welcome supporting over more than ten thousand Afghans coming to the US.

None of these operations would be remotely supportable if it were not for the tremendous behind the scenes work of our state and federal civilian workforce. And of course, our success is a reflection of the continued service and sacrifice of our families and employers and they are truly a key element of the National Guard.

Thanks for all you do! It is an honor to serve with you!

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
28th Adjutant General of Virginia